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Kharagay

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Kharagay

Plucked zithers like the chatkhan (closely related to the Tuvan chadagan and the Mongolian yatga), which are rooted in nomadic cultures, may have developed from ancient Chinese models such as the qin and zheng, or may represent an independent development.

According to members of Sabjilar, a young folk ensemble from Khakasia, "Kharagay" comes from the Kyzyl people, a subgroup of the Khakas. The text tells the story of a man and his wife who fled on skis from the Red Army during the Bolshevik Revolution. The man understood that the soldiers would hunt them down by following their tracks in the snow. To ensure that his wife would survive, he hid her in a pine tree. He skied away, and indeed the Red soldiers found and killed him. His wife survived, and composed this song. (During, Levin 2001)

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